After hosting its last three events in Jacksonville, Florida, the UFC has been given the green light by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to begin hosting events in Las Vegas. The promotion's next two shows, booked for May 30 and June 6, will take place inside UFC's APEX facility in Vegas, much to the excitement of UFC president Dana White.
"I am so excited to be back in Vegas!!!" White told TMZ Sports. "Our APEX arena is incredible and the production value we can provide to fans is next level and it's a safe environment for my fighters and my staff."
The commission unanimously approved COVID-19 safety protocols that will allow the events to take place without fans being in attendance, with NSAC executive Bob Bennett saying the commission worked "hand in glove" with the UFC. According to MMA Fighting, the UFC formulated a 25-page safety plan to operate during the pandemic, which was used for the three Jacksonville events.
The next event, titled UFC on ESPN: Woodley vs. Burns, will be headlined by former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns.
The coronavirus pandemic forced White and the UFC to cancel five events beginning with a March 21 first show booked for London, England. In the weeks that followed White announced he would be purchasing and constructing his own personal island to host future events, later named Fight Island.
"The infrastructure is being built right now," White claimed while on The Jim Rome Show earlier this month. "I'm hoping that it will all be done Mid-June. Hopefully we'll be able to have a fight that weekend that it opens, or maybe closer toward the end of June. What we're building that for is that I can't predict what tomorrow might bring with this coronavirus, so the hardest thing is going to be getting people in from the United States. This is where we're going to do all our international fights."
UFC's next major pay-per-view, UFC 250, currently has five fights booked for June 6. Check out the card below:
- Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer
- Ian Heinisch vs. Gerald Meerschaert
- Charles Byrd vs. Maki Pitolo
- Alex Perez vs. Jussier Formiga
- Alonzo Menifield vs. Devin Clark
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